Dear anon, I’m not publishing that ask because no thank you I do not want that on my blog. But yes, Regina stopping Emma from killing Lily (thereby stopping her from going dark) was an act of love.
Just like Emma breaking the first curse was an act of love. Regina breaking the second curse was an act of love. Charming giving up his heart was an act of love. Emma turning back from the hat was an act of love. They happen a lot on Once. Love and hope and faith are kind of integral to the show, you may have noticed.
We started season 4 with the Frozen arc, based on a story where Anna saves her sister with an act of true love, and Elsa learns to control her magic as she learns to love herself. We saw both of those things paralleled on Once, with Emma and Regina building a sister-like relationship (bickering and rivalry included) and Emma learning to accept and love herself and thus control her powers.
How is it surprising or controversial for Lana to say that Regina stopping Emma from giving in to her dark side was an act of love? It was. Yes, some people will interpret that as meaning “romantic love”, but that’s on them.
To me, the big deal with that is that Regina is now capable of doing that. She’s capable of being compassionate and helpful and loving and caring towards people other than Henry. She opened up to Robin, and then she mended some bridges with Snow and began building up a friendship with Emma, two women whom she hated to the point of wanting them dead. I know some people think that she doesn’t deserve that, and that’s fair enough. But I feel like a lot of people object to it mainly because they fear it turning into a romance thing, and thus threaten their preferred ship. If that’s your reason for objecting to it you can safely stop, because that’s not the story being told here.
Regina will be one of the people fighting to save Emma. And we will see the friendship between these two be tested and continue to grow. And I think that’s awesome, because:
Friendship between women isn’t something that’s often the focus of stories. And here we have a story of two women who start out as rivals, catty and vindictive behaviour included (albeit exaggerated; it’s a show about magic and fairytales after all), and work it out. They aren’t besties from the moment they meet. They haven’t known each other forever and grew up having sleepovers and sharing secrets. They start out as enemies, and slowly, bit by bit, learn to work together, find common goals and concerns, and eventually become friends. They go from bitter rivalry to saving each other.
That’s powerful, to me. It’s inspirational, even. This kind of focus on female characters and depth in exploring their relationships and motivations and willingness to portray women as flawed and problematic and still capable and deserving of second chances… that’s rare. Usually, in film/TV, female rivalries are painted as simplistic and silly, with the heroine on one side and The Bitch on the other, and in the end The Bitch is flung into a pool or has ketchup thrown on her expensive dress or whatever. Which helps keep up this ridiculous tendency to pit women against each other, encouraging these rivalries rather than teaching girls how to resolve them and support each other instead, telling us hey, look, she disagrees with you, she’s a bitch, tear her down.
There’s none of that on Once
. The heroines resolve their problems by listening, and understanding, and forgiving, and managing to do all of that while taking no shit. Because yes, that is possible. It’s not always perfect, it’s not always written 100% the way it probably should be, but overall it’s there and even the fact that they’re trying
to tell that kind of story is huge. I think it’s a powerful, important story, and honestly, looking at some of the behaviour in the fandom, we need a lot more like it.